Rabbit breeding is a very profitable livestock industry, but rabbits myxomatosis can become a fly in the ointment of this efficient business. Rabbit meat is valued for its dietary, taste qualities. These animals breed very quickly, but, on the other hand, they are prone to dangerous diseases that can destroy all the livestock in a short time. Knowledge of the primary manifestations and symptoms of this pathology will help to take timely measures and preserve the rabbit farm.
Features of the disease
Myxomatosis is an acute infectious disease of viral origin. This pathology is accompanied by conjunctivitis with a large amount of pus, serous fluid, and swelling. The head of the rabbit and its external genital organs are particularly affected. On the skin of the animal nodules of a tumorous nature are formed.
The disease was first diagnosed in South America in 1898. In Europe, initially, this viral infection was used as a means to combat the uncontrolled growth of the population of hares and wild rabbits.
A side effect of these actions has been the spread of the disease in almost all European countries since 1954. Its consequence was the mortality in animals at the level of 90-100%.
A virus that contains DNA is the causative agent of myxomatosis. It affects rabbits and hares of different sexes, species, breeds, being transferred from one individual to another through purulent discharge from the nose, eyes of animals. A great role in the spread of infection is played by blood-sucking insects, ectoparasites. At the same time, the virus myxomatosis retains activity inside them for a long time.
Outbreaks of the disease among animals are most pronounced in early summer. Rabbits that have passed the disease for a long time remain carriers of a dangerous infection. The virus is well preserved in the blood, subcutaneous tissue.
Types and forms of the disease
Myxomatosis occurs in the classical edematous and nodular forms. In the first case, the animals are almost doomed, and in the second - about 10-30% of rabbits survive. Both types of pathology in the early stages of development appear red spots that can be found on the skin in the eyelids, auricles.
In a classic disease in animals, the spots are replaced by inflammation of the eyes, which develops into serous purulent conjunctivitis, swelling and adhesion of the eyelids. In addition, puffiness also appears on the head, back of the rabbits, in the region of their genitals.
For the classical form of the disease is characterized by swelling of the scalp of rabbits, which is collected in the folds. Complications of myxomatosis often become respiratory disorders, pneumonia, rhinitis. Animals lose their appetite, their ears droop. This happens before the death of the rabbit.
A nodular type of disease of these animals is characterized by such manifestations as the formation of a rounded shape ranging in size from millet to pigeon's egg. They occur on the back, legs, eyelids, ears. After about two weeks, the nodules begin to die off.
From the very beginning of the disease, the temperature of rabbits rises to 41 degrees, but after two days it stabilizes. In the next stage of myxomatosis, tearing of the eyes and purulent discharge appears in animals. If adequate measures are not taken on time, then there is a high probability that the disease will enter the edematous stage.
Manifestations of myxomatosis in rabbits
Growing rabbits, it is necessary to carefully monitor their health. This will help prevent massive infection within the common herd. The incubation period after infection with their myxomatosis lasts about a week and a half, apparently not showing up. After only 12 days, some signs can be seen in the form of red markings on the skin of animals.
After this, the disease of rabbits at each stage is accompanied by the following symptoms:
- a sharp rise in body temperature to 41 degrees;
- purulent inflammation of the mucous membranes of the eyes;
- apathy, lethargy, slowness, passivity of animals;
- decreased appetite;
- fading, hair loss;
- swelling in the head, genitals;
- inflammation, tumor formation in the ears, nose, eyelids;
- partial immobilization, coma in severe stages of the disease;
- fibrous knots on paws, face rabbits.
These symptoms often overlap the manifestations of concomitant diseases, among which the most common pneumonia, stomatitis. Therefore, it is not uncommon for sick rabbits to experience difficulty breathing, wheezing. After some time, purulent discharge from the mouth may appear.
The main ways of infection of animals in the household
A clear idea of possible methods of infection allows you to take timely measures to prevent disease. The most common infection occurs through blood-sucking insects.
Mosquitoes, mosquitoes, ticks, midges, lice, fleas, flies represent a potential threat to the health of the entire rabbit herd. Even if the insects themselves do not get sick, they still often carry the virus on their paws.
Vector pathogens of dangerous pathology are domestic and wild birds. On their claws, spurs, there is often a dangerous causative agent of myxomatosis. Any contact with birds can cause severe animal disease.
In addition, rodents pose a certain danger. Their access to rabbit housing should be restricted in the most radical way. In some cases, myxomatosis is transmitted sexually, so contact with animals should be limited when an infection is suspected.
At the first sign of a viral infection, suspicious rabbits should be deposited from the rest. In the event of the death of animals, their carcasses are immediately removed from their cages and burned. Cells should be carefully processed using bleach solution or special means.
Diagnosis of the disease
Pathological changes in the body of animals is not always possible to accurately determine and classify only on the basis of external signs of the disease. Therefore, in the process of diagnosis, laboratory tests are used, which include histological analysis, the study of the pathoanatomical condition of infected tissues.
To diagnose myxomatosis, the veterinarian selects samples of the affected areas of their skin along with subcutaneous tissue on a rabbit rearing farm. Inside a 15% formalin solution, this biological material is delivered to the veterinary laboratory. Based on his comprehensive study, the results are determined.
If rabbits miksomatoz is confirmed, then the specific rabbit farm, as well as the entire adjacent territory, is declared by the regional administration to be unfavorable in terms of epidemiological danger. In this case, quarantine is established, special measures are being taken to eliminate the consequences of the disease, and urgent measures are being taken to disinfect the source of infection.
The establishment of quarantine implies a ban on the movement of livestock of rabbits from contaminated areas, as well as meat products after the slaughter of animals, skins, feed, inventory. The access of strangers to the territory of the farm where the rabbits are kept is limited.
Elimination of the effects of myxomatosis
When an outbreak of infection inside this area occurs, all rabbits are divided into two groups. The first group includes animals with pronounced external signs of the disease. They are immediately slaughtered and burned together with the fallen from the infection of individuals, remnants of feed, bedding, inventory.
Animals of the second group are slaughtered for meat. At the same time sanitary and hygienic rules must be strictly observed. Pre-prepared rabbit skins are treated with methyl bromide. They are sent for processing inside a double package of special disinfected fabric.
Farms with a focus of myxomatosis are isolated from the outside world with the help of barriers and mats that are filled with 3% caustic soda. It is important to isolate the rabbits from outside contact with wild and domestic animals in the most radical way.
In places of keeping eared wards, it is necessary to conduct daily disinsection measures that are aimed at the complete destruction of blood-sucking insects and flies. You can start working with animals only in special clothes and footwear, which is subject to daily disinfection.
Saving sick rabbits at home
Timely and adequate assistance will help prevent the death of animals in small households. If appropriate remedial measures are not taken in time, then the disease with myxomatosis can lead to a mass death of animals and the loss of the entire population of rabbits.
Home treatment should be based on certain rules. First of all, it is necessary to create comfortable warm conditions for the animals. Despite the loss of appetite, the diet of rabbits should be as varied as possible. It is recommended to add pumpkin pulp to the feed and even fresh pineapple juice, ensuring free access to clean drinking water.
In the event of a total rejection of food, the wards of the rabbits should be forcibly fed by injection. To facilitate breathing, it is recommended to use the essential oils of eucalyptus, tea tree.
The most effective measures are in the early stages of the disease. In the therapy of rabbits, immunomodulators, strong antibiotics, are of great benefit.
Treatment of sick animals
At home, the treatment of myxomatosis is aimed at maintaining and strengthening the immune system, disinfecting ulcers and wounds, and destroying the causative agent of the disease.
Treat infected rabbits with certain medications. For this purpose, use the drug "Gamavit" in a dosage of 2 ml, as well as 1 ml of solution "Fosprenil". These drugs are administered daily in the form of subcutaneous injections until complete recovery of the animals.
Against this background, it is necessary to bury the nose with a special liquid Aquamaris, and the eyes with drops of Ofloxacin. It is recommended to flush the affected eyes of rabbits with saline.
During the week, animals should be drunk every day with a solution from Baytril. Its dose is determined at the rate of 1 ml per 10 kg of eared patient's weight. To strengthen the immune system, subcutaneous injections of vitamin B should be made. Open ulcers on the rabbit's body are treated with an alcohol solution of iodine until they are completely healed.
Folk remedies for myxomatosis
At the first signs of a viral disease, the livestock of rabbits in conditions of small farms uses folk remedies.
The most affordable therapeutic product is sunflower oil. To prepare a medicinal substance, a small amount of it should be roasted for 20 minutes. After cooling with a swab soaked in the mixture obtained, all wounds and ulcers of the animal should be treated.
Rabbit urine is also a proven effective remedy for healing painful ulcers of myxomatosis. It is prepared by infusing the bottle under direct sunlight for about three hours. After that, you should soak a cotton swab with the prepared urine and smear all ulcers and wounds on the animal's body with it. This treatment promotes rapid healing. In addition, the smell of urine perfectly repels blood-sucking parasites.
You can use a camel thorn, which should be poured boiling water and insist 2-3 hours. After that, the liquid is filtered and used as a solution for injection. It must be administered to the rabbit subcutaneously in the lower leg area. For an adult individual, the maximum dose is 5 ml, and it is permissible for young animals to inject no more than 2 ml of the treatment mixture. To clarify the treatment regimen, you should consult with a veterinarian.
Any disease is easier to prevent than to spend physical and material resources on effective treatment procedures. High-quality prevention of the disease is especially important in rabbit breeding, since with various infections there is a high probability of a mass death of the population.
Vaccine from strain B-82 and B-87 against myxomatosis, rabbit haemorrhagic disease, is used for active immunization. Thanks to such measures, animals produce antibodies that counteract the viruses of these diseases. In addition, vaccination strengthens the immunity of eared pets. The vaccine begins to be active after 9 days, and its strength lasts up to 12 months.
Rabbits are best immunized in the middle of spring, when blood-sucking insects and flies actively reproduce. The agent is administered intramuscularly, subcutaneously, or inside the skin.
Vaccination can be carried out for one and a half month old baby rabbits and pregnant females at any stage. It is important to adhere to sterility and hygiene when conducting procedures. We also recommend that you read the article "Iodine for a rabbit: for what and how to give."
About heat treatment
And now tell you whether it is possible to eat the meat of infected rabbits.
Myxomatosis virus dies after 25 minutes during heat treatment with temperatures of 55 degrees Celsius. So you can eat this meat. But, on the other hand, the carcass of the dead from this pathology of animals to prevent the spread of infection is better to burn.
When the first signs of illness appear, some farmers immediately slaughter the rabbits for meat. In such cases, rabbit thoroughly washed in cold water, and the time of its preparation stretches for at least two hours. In addition, the remaining broth is recommended to be disposed of.
Despite the reasonable safety of eating the meat of infected animals, many people refuse such dishes due to the unpleasant appearance of sick individuals.
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